I'd just like to comment further on this, as all the talk from the media, and the Government, has been in the context of finding jobs, and "work experience", for the YOUNG unemployed. (To give them a chance of getting a foot on the ladder of employment, as it were.)
That's just a lie.
The reality is, this compulsory
scheme, has been in place for all claimants
, once they have been unemployed for 6 months (I think that may now have been reduced, to 16 weeks..?)
If A4E offer you such a 'placement', and if you turn it down, you will be 'sanctioned', by having benefits withdrawn.
(In practice, as claimants and their families, cannot be left destitute, after much pleading, and various visits, and getting angry, the benefits will
, almost immediately, be reinstated, and the whole cycle begins again)
These placements are not at all "voluntary", nor are they restricted to the 'NEETS', as the govt spokespeople have been saying.
Middle aged men, in their 50's, have to attend any interview, which A4E finds for them.
In some cases, despite being told that the wages offered, are insufficient to cover the person's living costs, (mortgages, rents, 4 children etc,) they still have to attend, or they face sanctions. If they are offered a job, they have to accept it, however unsuitable, or they face 'sanctions'.
The same goes for any 'placements, where 55 year-old men are forced to work at menial tasks, full-time, for no money, other than the £67 (?) benefits, for up to 13 weeks.
The companies taking part, don't have to give any reason, for not
offering them a job, at the end of it.
Why would they take them on, and have to pay them
, when the next free
labour, is already in the 'pipeline..?
If they get sacked for being "late", or any other form of 'misconduct', like refusing to clean toilets, or any other duty asked of them, etc. they lose their benefits.
About 50% of A4E's office staff, are such unpaid
'placements', the admin staff, the receptionists, the 'security staff', even some of the 'personal advisers'. Some very experienced, and capable staff, for free. It's little wonder Emma Harrison was able to pay herself that £8.6 Million Dividend.
To be fair, this scheme was begun under Labour, but with this latest exposure, and the controversy which it has created, this govt is now saying they've got "hundreds of smaller companies, keen to participate", -there's a surprise.
It's really very simple: do you want a succession of free employees? (note: adults
, not just "inexperienced school-leavers", seeking their first job) .
The only 'rider', is that there does
,( notionally), have to exist the possibility of a permanent job, but of course, it's "not your fault", if none of the applicants so far, have been deemed 'suitable'.
SO, potentially, free labour, indefinitely. -Tough call, for any business owner...
IMO., Anyone who's doing a full-time job, whether that's a temporary 'placement', or ''work experience', should be paid the statutory minimum wage, for the duration.(Regardless of age)
Otherwise, it's public money, paying for private profits.
Why should the nation be paying benefits, to someone who's working full-time at Tescos, collecting trolleys, for no pay.?
When Tesco, and others, are all very profitable companies, and can very well afford to pay their own wage bills..
Yes, it is mandatory
slave labour, and it's a disgrace.
I hope it comes back to 'haunt' any company taking part.